In every age the Catholic Church is in need of reform. But what kind of reform is needed? Some common views ...
In these articles (see menu sidebar to the left) I address such topics as ...
The true church (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 1:22;3:10;5:24,27,29; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:5; Hebrews 12:23) established by Jesus is ...
Today, there is no Christian tradition, community, or denomination which perfectly reflects the church as it was in the apostolic era. Yet all reflect (in varying degrees, some more, some less) Jesus' vision for his church, and all are blessed by Jesus and the Holy Spirit (in varying degrees, some more, some less).
As Christians we must validate the claims of the various Christian traditions using the available evidence ...
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures [Old Testament] daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)
Today, the evidence we have at our disposal is ...
I originally converted to Catholicism because it claimed to have a historical and dogmatic continuity from the apostolic church. But when I learned of the Orthodox Church (and I considered converting) I was no longer so sure whether the Catholic church was the "true" apostolic church founded by Jesus.
I should note: I am a born-again, on-fire-for-the-Lord, radically-saved, devout, faithful, orthodox Christian (read more here).
True reform consists of reforming our hearts and our minds.
|How to know what is true||With so many contradictory truth-claims by the various Christian denominations and communities, how are we to know what to believe? Here is my reasoned approach.|
|I Believe||Which doctrines can be deduced from scripture and the writings of the early church fathers without the need to refer to an infallible teaching authority?|
|Doctrines of the Church Fathers||An examination of what the early church fathers wrote about various topics.|
|How to Select a Church||A list of criteria for choosing a church or denomination. These are criteria that I consider important.|
|Essential Doctrines||These doctrines are true, and they define what it is to be a Christian.|
|Non-essential Doctrines||These are additional doctrines which non-Catholic Christians in good conscience can choose to accept or to reject (Catholics must accept the teachings of the Catholic Church.) The many variations in these are what distinguishes the various Christian denominations and communities.|
|Heretical Doctrines||People who hold these doctrines instead of the essential doctrines are not properly called Christians. Examples are Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. This is not an exhaustive list.|
|Errors of Catholicism||The Catholic Church claims to be infallible but errors are readily apparent. How are we to reconcile these?|
The texts of these documents are included in their entirety (with some exceptions). I've noted some topics of interest to me contained within these documents.
|Didache||Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, written perhaps as early as the 80's A.D.
Topics: Purgatory, abortion, almsgiving, anger, astrology, confession, baptism, fasting, eucharist, false prophets, priests, mass as a sacrifice, bishops and deacons, fellowship, perfection, can lose salvation, Antichrist, judgment.
|First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians||Written about 96 A.D.
Topics: Priests, clergy/laity, schism.
|The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian||251 A.D.
Topics: Bishops are equal, bishop of Rome not pre-eminent, baptism, in baptism we receive remission of sins, exorcism and baptism, priests, altars, clergy/laity, the power of binding and loosing, bishops are the successors of the apostles and have the same powers, opinions of councils of bishops are apostolic.